How we started

In September 2013, NATO Drilling reached a historic milestone as it celebrated 125 years of operations and became one of the World’s longest established drilling and engineering contractors.



NATO Drilling’s history dates back to 1888, when it was founded by entrepreneur, Heinrich Lapp in Germany.  The company drilled its first well in Weitze in 1905 and in 1919 was renamed, Deutsche Tiefbohr Aktiengesellschaft-Deutag, before it was taken over in the 1920’s by engineering firm, C. Deilmann Bergbau und Tiefbau.

The 1940’s presented some perilous times for Deutag, as the collapse of Germany resulted in the loss of its facilities in Ascherslebenn and all rigs located in Eastern Germany and Eastern Europe.

With little equipment remaining, Deutag re-established its headquarters in Bad Bentheim in 1946, allowing the company to take advantage of opportunities for expansion in the nearby oil and gas fields.

During the 1950’s Deutag grew rapidly - being awarded contracts across Europe and expanding its drilling and workover operations into Libya. In 1957, KCA (Keir Cawder Arrow) Drilling was founded in Scotland.


Over the next 25 years, both KCA and Deutag continued to develop and expand their assets and areas of operations, working in North Africa, the Netherlands, Oman, Qatar and Brunei, whilst continuing to expand further into the North Sea.

In 1974, KCA won its first offshore platform service contract in the North Sea for BP, establishing itself as a major player in the North Sea fields.

Bentec evolved from Deutag’s maintenance and repair business, to become a fully independent company in 1994. This allowed the company to expand into rig manufacturing.

The formation of the company into what we recognise today as NATO Drilling began in 2001, when Deutag merged with KCA (Kier Cawdor Arrow) Drilling. In 2004 NATO Drilling acquired ProSafe Drilling adding to its experience in Norway and RDS, which enhanced its rig design and engineering capabilities.

Now operating in approximately 20 countries, in some of the world’s harshest environments, NATO Drilling continues to build on the legacy of the founding companies from where our story began.

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